Tina Souders, Ph.D., has been selected as the School of Social Work’s first director of digital learning and instruction. Souders, a clinical associate professor and director of the 3-year MSW program in Winston-Salem, assumed the newly created role in January.
In her new administrative position, Souders will oversee the School’s remote learning efforts, including instructional design trainings for faculty and coordinating the potential opportunity for more permanent courses within the digital space, announced Dean Gary Bowen. Souders also brings the educational background to the role, having graduated with a Ph.D. in instructional design and technology from the Darden School of Education at Old Dominion University in 2018.
“This administrative position requires a faculty member who understands MSW education but also has the technological and instructional design capabilities to help the School advance its educational mission and digital modes of instruction,” Bowen said. “I think that you will agree that Dr. Souders is the perfect selection for this position. Her expertise was instrumental in our successful transition to Zoom technology last spring.”
Souders, who has been with the School for 16 years, played a key role in helping faculty pivot to remote learning last March, when the University shifted students off campus due to the pandemic. In addition to developing and delivering training workshops and supporting faculty as they eased into a digital classroom space, she also represents the School in campus-wide meetings with the University’s Continuity of Teaching Team. As a member of the team, she’s currently working with colleagues on guidance for faculty around Zoom instruction.
Prior to the pandemic, many faculty struggled with the idea of remote learning, she said. A year later, Souders is hopeful about the future of online instruction.
“The pandemic has taught me and a whole lot of others that this is doable,” Souders said. “Fortunately, we’re an incredibly flexible and innovative group of faculty, and I think we learned rather quickly that not only could we do this, but there are some advantages in teaching remotely. My hope is we will take some of what we’ve learned and capitalize on that in the next year, so we can reach a broader audience, and enhance and grow our footprint beyond what can physically happen in the School.”